Thursday, March 10, 2016

We are getting ready for some plein aire's a list of stuff to bring

throw in a little sun screen.  If you plan ahead, you can find some travel versions of these things and not have to pack anything too heavy, and if you stick close to your car, you won’t have to carry any of it with you.   Just put it on before you get out into the wild, and leave it in the car.

Leave your sun glasses in the car and get out your hat, cap, or visor.  Sunglasses are great for the trip out, but you do not want to view your subject through them.  I might also mention an umbrella.  I don’t have this listed in bold print.  My experience is that it is too darned windy in Oklahoma to use one, it is bulky, hard to secure, and more trouble than it is worth.  Some may find it useful, however.

The next thing on my list is a great, lightweight, folding easel.  Lightweight is the key here.  I know you would look cool with a big, fancy, wooden easel, but there is a time and a place for everything, and the time for that is in the studio.  In the photo on the previous page is the kind of easel I took with me to France as it was not covered in paint and had a nice little carrying case, a clasp at the top to secure my canvas, and was adjustable for small paintings ( another great garage sale find ).  The one I use in Oklahoma has the addition of retractable spikes on the bottom to help secure it to the earth in a strong wind, and has a spot in the middle of its three legs to house a pallet, or a sandbag if it is extremely windy.  You should be able to find one of these easels at your favorite art store, or online, for a very affordable price.
When going into the field, I usually load up my pallet with paint daubs from my big tubes in the car, and take with me, an array of smaller tubes, and the tail ends of the big tubes, so as not to add any extra weight, or bulk to my pack.  Do not leave colors out of the mix, unless, for some reason, you are experimenting with a limited pallet, for as soon as you leave a color out, that will be the one color you need, and your work will suffer as you try to make do with what you have.

 pallet, and pallet box.  
rags, spirits, and spirit holder. I will supply 
The kind of canvas you chose is a personal preference.  For my trip, I decided to try a canvas pad with pre-gessoed canvases that could be torn out.  I also took several pre-stretched, gessoed, 8x10 and 11x14 canvases.  In the field you have limited time, perhaps only an hour to two hours before your light has changed too much.  Don’t bring a canvas that is too large to cover in a 2 hour stretch.  The whole purpose for you doing this in the field is to capture a moment.  That moment is gone within two hours and you are only working from memory or worse, creating a portion of your landscape with the light in the east and a portion of it with the light in the west.  Very bad!
Last, but not least, take a snack and a bottle of water.  You will be glad you did.

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